Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back Home (China)

I find it funny that one month back in the USA could change my attitude towards China. Two years ago I had a lot of patience for China, but one month in the USA and boom, feelings of frustration and argh hit.

When I first got to the gate in San Francisco full of Chinese people waiting to go to the mainland, I felt giddy. I was once again amongst short, black-haired people, people who look like me. I was once again Chinese, feeling like I belong because I look like everyone. I was once again amongst a language I sort of understand, can filter out, and can live in the silent isolated bubble of a foreign language. As a tribute to my last hour in America, I sat on the floor, something you NEVER do in China.

In Beijing though... boom...

I got so frustrated with it all...

  • the signs that make no sense as I was trying to catch my plane to Xian
  • the new terminal that is like two miles from the terminal I needed to be at
  • having to squeeze on a crowded bus to get to the airport terminal
  • the inefficient lines full of thousands of people
  • getting an expensive zippo gift for the waiban confiscated because lighters are not allowed on checked baggage
  • standing behind the travellers with their bags full of liquids, waiting as the security people ran their bags a million times
  • waiting five minutes for women to finish in the toilets
  • thirsty with only boiling water to wait to cool off

After a month in the USA, I lost my ability to wait. Somehow the time scale in the USA had speeded up my time scale thus losing my ability to be patient with the uncertainties and different time scale of a new culture.

Actually though, now that I have arrived back into the safety of my apartment, I feel better. Plus I received good news. I thought I was going to have to lesson plan all day on Sunday to start teaching on Monday. Of course in China, nothing is 100% certain. Nothing is 100% scheduled. Things change in an instant. Even though everyone told me to be back to start teaching on the 30th of August, guess what. Classes don't start till the 6th of September. Yay for me! Now I can relax, get over jet lag, finish knitting my sweater, and go on bike rides.

I am once again happy.

1 comment:

JS said...

Life is short and it's all about the journey